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Thread: ENOUGH of the same old stores!

  1. #1

    Thumbs down ENOUGH of the same old stores!

    Every time I see a new commercial building being built in town I get excited as to what it's going to be. A new housewares store? A new restaurant? A pharmacy? Something USEFUL?

    No. It's always a little 3-4 store building with a combination of these businesses : Nail salon (VO Nails), "Health food" (GNC), Vet, Optometrist, Dentist, crappy fast-food like Subway.

    WHY???? Aren't there enough nail salons and places to buy Creatine supplements around? Are these REALLY in such high demand? These type of useless stores seem to always be the default go-to businesses to open whenever a new building is put up. The west and south ends are the worst for this. Can we not have a restaurant other than fast-food or Boston Pizza? Maybe a pet store? ANYTHING other than the usual template?

    Yeah I know Whyte Ave has the fun indy stores and restaurants, but they change so often and close and become something else, and it's always so busy. Hell even in the burbs, good luck finding a table for dinner without a reservation or without waiting for a table at supper time, especially on a Friday or Saturday night. There's a definite lack of places to eat out, and I don't quite understand why more don't open if they get so busy all the time... Meanwhile the parking lots of these new commercial buildings are perpetually empty and I don't know how they even manage to stay in business.

    I'm not sure if this is a lack of competition thing, but it really seems like nobody is interested in opening businesses that will actually GET business. The demand is much higher than the supply, unless you're a nail salon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alkeli View Post
    Every time I see a new commercial building being built in town I get excited as to what it's going to be. A new housewares store? A new restaurant? A pharmacy? Something USEFUL?

    No. It's always a little 3-4 store building with a combination of these businesses : Nail salon (VO Nails), "Health food" (GNC), Vet, Optometrist, Dentist, crappy fast-food like Subway.

    WHY???? Aren't there enough nail salons and places to buy Creatine supplements around? Are these REALLY in such high demand? These type of useless stores seem to always be the default go-to businesses to open whenever a new building is put up. The west and south ends are the worst for this. Can we not have a restaurant other than fast-food or Boston Pizza? Maybe a pet store? ANYTHING other than the usual template?

    Yeah I know Whyte Ave has the fun indy stores and restaurants, but they change so often and close and become something else, and it's always so busy. Hell even in the burbs, good luck finding a table for dinner without a reservation or without waiting for a table at supper time, especially on a Friday or Saturday night. There's a definite lack of places to eat out, and I don't quite understand why more don't open if they get so busy all the time... Meanwhile the parking lots of these new commercial buildings are perpetually empty and I don't know how they even manage to stay in business.

    I'm not sure if this is a lack of competition thing, but it really seems like nobody is interested in opening businesses that will actually GET business. The demand is much higher than the supply, unless you're a nail salon.
    emphasis added because i think to a large degree you answered your own question.

    the fun indy stores and restaurants invariably don't have the covenant or the working capital to finish and fixture and open and pay the rents needed in new commercial spaces.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by alkeli View Post
    Every time I see a new commercial building being built in town I get excited as to what it's going to be. A new housewares store? A new restaurant? A pharmacy? Something USEFUL?

    No. It's always a little 3-4 store building with a combination of these businesses : Nail salon (VO Nails), "Health food" (GNC), Vet, Optometrist, Dentist, crappy fast-food like Subway.

    WHY???? Aren't there enough nail salons and places to buy Creatine supplements around? Are these REALLY in such high demand? These type of useless stores seem to always be the default go-to businesses to open whenever a new building is put up. The west and south ends are the worst for this. Can we not have a restaurant other than fast-food or Boston Pizza? Maybe a pet store? ANYTHING other than the usual template?

    Yeah I know Whyte Ave has the fun indy stores and restaurants, but they change so often and close and become something else, and it's always so busy. Hell even in the burbs, good luck finding a table for dinner without a reservation or without waiting for a table at supper time, especially on a Friday or Saturday night. There's a definite lack of places to eat out, and I don't quite understand why more don't open if they get so busy all the time... Meanwhile the parking lots of these new commercial buildings are perpetually empty and I don't know how they even manage to stay in business.

    I'm not sure if this is a lack of competition thing, but it really seems like nobody is interested in opening businesses that will actually GET business. The demand is much higher than the supply, unless you're a nail salon.
    emphasis added because i think to a large degree you answered your own question.

    the fun indy stores and restaurants invariably don't have the covenant or the working capital to finish and fixture and open and pay the rents needed in new commercial spaces.
    But in other cities you would see an H&M or Uniqlo or Gap - like along Robson Street or Young. I am surprised Whyte does not have a store of any substance other than Lullulemon. I think having a Lululemon in Fox and a Chapters is whats needed to pick the area up.

  4. #4

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    I'm more like enough of the inane stores that just show how much people spend on absolutely non essential purchase. Theres communities in this city that have to get in a vehicle just to buy groceries or hit a convenience store but theres a pedicure shop, tattoo shop, spa, dentist, Optometrist right down the block.
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  5. #5

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    Dentists and optometrists are no-essential?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    Dentists and optometrists are no-essential?
    I generally think Dentistry for the most part is a perpetuated scam. The amount of teeth needing to be pulled and the amount of dentistry required being directly correlated to the amount of visits to a dentist. Perhaps oddly those that don't visit dentists at all, and simply avoid copious sugar, brush teeth regularly, end up with a set of teeth longer.


    Most eye glass purchases are non essential in that X person has multiple glasses of the same prescription. Its gone more into fashion and accessory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdmTrekker View Post
    ...

    But in other cities you would see an H&M or Uniqlo or Gap - like along Robson Street or Young. I am surprised Whyte does not have a store of any substance other than Lullulemon. I think having a Lululemon in Fox and a Chapters is whats needed to pick the area up.
    i’m pretty sure h&m, uniglo, gap, lululemon and chapters aren’t fun indy stores or restaurants...

    landlords - and their banks - will lease to tenants they think have the capacity including revenues to pay the rent needed without either of them going bankrupt and the chains will lease where they think they. and generate enough revenue to be profitable. it’s real estate, not rocket science.
    Last edited by kcantor; 15-08-2018 at 11:40 AM.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by EdmTrekker View Post
    ...

    But in other cities you would see an H&M or Uniqlo or Gap - like along Robson Street or Young. I am surprised Whyte does not have a store of any substance other than Lullulemon. I think having a Lululemon in Fox and a Chapters is whats needed to pick the area up.
    i’m pretty sure h&m, uniglo, gap, lululemon and chapters aren’t fun indy stores or restaurants...

    landlords - and their banks - will lease to tenants they think have the capacity including revenues to pay the rent needed without either of them going bankrupt and the chains will lease where they think they. An generate enough revenue to be profitable. it’s real estate, not rocket science.
    But is it limited at all?

    I ask that as a question because this discussion involves a subject area where you have expertise and I have none.

    So is it not limited in terms of traffic generation to have several niche stores that make good dime but that don't draw big numbers to the strip mall or whatever? As in Malls is there not a demonstrated need for anchor tenants to draw traffic that would then support the whole development?

    Next, food as a commodity is recession proof. Would a developer going more with shops that gear to discretionary spending not be more exposed in a downturn?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by EdmTrekker View Post
    ...

    But in other cities you would see an H&M or Uniqlo or Gap - like along Robson Street or Young. I am surprised Whyte does not have a store of any substance other than Lullulemon. I think having a Lululemon in Fox and a Chapters is whats needed to pick the area up.
    iím pretty sure h&m, uniglo, gap, lululemon and chapters arenít fun indy stores or restaurants...

    landlords - and their banks - will lease to tenants they think have the capacity including revenues to pay the rent needed without either of them going bankrupt and the chains will lease where they think they. An generate enough revenue to be profitable. itís real estate, not rocket science.
    But is it limited at all?

    I ask that as a question because this discussion involves a subject area where you have expertise and I have none.

    So is it not limited in terms of traffic generation to have several niche stores that make good dime but that don't draw big numbers to the strip mall or whatever? As in Malls is there not a demonstrated need for anchor tenants to draw traffic that would then support the whole development?

    Next, food as a commodity is recession proof. Would a developer going more with shops that gear to discretionary spending not be more exposed in a downturn?
    i'm not sure exactly sure what you're asking but i'll try and answer and you can let me know if/where i missed...

    is what limited? the developer will always be limited in what he can rent space for. if, all in, his project cost him $350 psf and he needs an 8% return, then he is limited to renting for $28 psf or more unless he wants to end up bankrupt. if that small indie can only generate enough sales to pay $12 psf based on their business model, you won't seem him/her in a new project. if it's going to take another $150 psf to finish and fixture that new restaurant space and they don't have it and expect the developer to spend it, then the developer needs $40 psf rent and not $28. and if the tenant isn't strong enough to borrow it from the bank, then why should the developer loan it to him (which is really what's happening)? and it's not good to say "well if that operator isn't successful, then just lease it to another" because none of them want the same kitchen layouts or equipment or seating or bar configuration etc. there is virtually no residual value to that investment if the developer gets the space back (which you can see by the number of existing restaurants that are for sale for way less than the cost it took to build them).

    most strip malls are neighborhood convenience tenants with the very rare exception that becomes a destination (i.e. a convenience store or a nail shop or a fast food chain are the same everywhere/not every mall can have a bulgogi house or an upper crust). these tenants need to be able to sell enough to that neighborhood to cover their costs, pay their rent and make a profit.

    as for anchors, most malls simply don't have enough area to support an anchor tenant as it's the other tenants that need to provide that support/subsidized rent, not the developer. if the developer needs $28 and half the space goes to an "anchor" only paying $14, then the other tenants will need to pay $42 in order to generate that needed 8% return. now, for the developer, the question is whether he can secure long-term viable tenants at $42, not just $28 and tenants will have to decide if being on the same site as a grocer is worth a 50% higher rent than being a couple of blocks away (or next door or across the street). that premium has to come from margins, from increased business, or from higher prices meaning they might be more convenient but are now less competitive (and often times less competitive than the same anchor they're paying to be beside).

    groceries are - relatively - recession proof. restaurants less so but again, "that depends". ruth's chris being equidistant from half a dozen major downtown hotels is probable more recession proof than chop at nisku. fast food seems to be a bit more recession-proof as people move their choices downscale to save money but they may in turn struggle more in strong markets where patrons are more discerning and expecting upgraded/competitive dťcor and menus etc.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  10. #10

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    ^I specifically mentioned convenience stores. Many current commercial developments do not even contain convenience stores and in areas where people have no convenient access to them. So that often times it seems as if the market research on such things may not be localized. i.e. decisions made by largescale developers just not all that familiar with what businesses or services may be in most demand in an area. My own take is that Convenience stores are the traffic driver of strip malls and small commercial outlets. They draw vehicle and foot traffic. Thereby increasing usage of the strip mall and in turn informing consumers of other businesses that happen to exist in that strip mall. Which would otherwise often not even be noticed UNLESS people are stopping.

    So what I'm saying is that in pursuit of top temporary income drivers some developers may be missing out on what drives primary patronage to small commercial developments. Similarly what Malls exist and do well without anchor tenants that drive visits?

    Yet increasingly we see small commercial developments with very isolated usage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    ^I specifically mentioned convenience stores. Many current commercial developments do not even contain convenience stores and in areas where people have no convenient access to them. So that often times it seems as if the market research on such things may not be localized. i.e. decisions made by largescale developers just not all that familiar with what businesses or services may be in most demand in an area. My own take is that Convenience stores are the traffic driver of strip malls and small commercial outlets. They draw vehicle and foot traffic. Thereby increasing usage of the strip mall and in turn informing consumers of other businesses that happen to exist in that strip mall. Which would otherwise often not even be noticed UNLESS people are stopping.

    So what I'm saying is that in pursuit of top temporary income drivers some developers may be missing out on what drives primary patronage to small commercial developments. Similarly what Malls exist and do well without anchor tenants that drive visits?

    Yet increasingly we see small commercial developments with very isolated usage.
    you specifically mentioned "food", not "convenience stores", and in the industry those are not interchangeable... a food store is a grocery store and carries a much wider range of actual food products including produce than a convenience store. even your small neighborhood "green grocers" etc. fell in to that category. 7/11's and mac's do not.

    going back to your question with that category in mind, 7/11 and mac's are pretty much the only players (with mac's starting to be rebranded by their parent alimentation couche tard as circle k). other than in high density/high exposure locations like downtown or oliver, they always want and rarely go without a gas bar as part of their commitment/requirement for new stores. that's an entirely different set of zoning and design and risk factors for the developer and often can't be accommodated on smaller sites even if those issues aren't a concern. their expansions/new stores are driven at the corporate level based first on short term financials (i.e. in some years they will open very few stores continent wide and if they're only opening a limited number they will take the cream and simply leave the rest - that edmonton site won't be competing with other edmonton sites as much as sites in other cities, provinces and countries). i also think it's a bit of a misconception as to how much traffic a purely convenience tenant will generate for other tenants. in most cases the other tenants, the centre, the neighborhood and the developer will do better with a higher level of compatible tenants than an anchor tenant who isn't. the large shopping store anchor works because it's drawing customers who have time and will spend it there. a convenience store customer with or without gas is attracting a customer who wants "in and out" in as short a time as possible - not what the other tenant's really want/need. as for exposure, those other tenants would in most cases be better off being able to share the signage those convenience stores dominate.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    ^I specifically mentioned convenience stores. Many current commercial developments do not even contain convenience stores and in areas where people have no convenient access to them. So that often times it seems as if the market research on such things may not be localized. i.e. decisions made by largescale developers just not all that familiar with what businesses or services may be in most demand in an area. My own take is that Convenience stores are the traffic driver of strip malls and small commercial outlets. They draw vehicle and foot traffic. Thereby increasing usage of the strip mall and in turn informing consumers of other businesses that happen to exist in that strip mall. Which would otherwise often not even be noticed UNLESS people are stopping.

    So what I'm saying is that in pursuit of top temporary income drivers some developers may be missing out on what drives primary patronage to small commercial developments. Similarly what Malls exist and do well without anchor tenants that drive visits?

    Yet increasingly we see small commercial developments with very isolated usage.
    you specifically mentioned "food", not "convenience stores", and in the industry those are not interchangeable... a food store is a grocery store and carries a much wider range of actual food products including produce than a convenience store. even your small neighborhood "green grocers" etc. fell in to that category. 7/11's and mac's do not.

    going back to your question with that category in mind, 7/11 and mac's are pretty much the only players (with mac's starting to be rebranded by their parent alimentation couche tard as circle k). other than in high density/high exposure locations like downtown or oliver, they always want and rarely go without a gas bar as part of their commitment/requirement for new stores. that's an entirely different set of zoning and design and risk factors for the developer and often can't be accommodated on smaller sites even if those issues aren't a concern. their expansions/new stores are driven at the corporate level based first on short term financials (i.e. in some years they will open very few stores continent wide and if they're only opening a limited number they will take the cream and simply leave the rest - that edmonton site won't be competing with other edmonton sites as much as sites in other cities, provinces and countries). i also think it's a bit of a misconception as to how much traffic a purely convenience tenant will generate for other tenants. in most cases the other tenants, the centre, the neighborhood and the developer will do better with a higher level of compatible tenants than an anchor tenant who isn't. the large shopping store anchor works because it's drawing customers who have time and will spend it there. a convenience store customer with or without gas is attracting a customer who wants "in and out" in as short a time as possible - not what the other tenant's really want/need. as for exposure, those other tenants would in most cases be better off being able to share the signage those convenience stores dominate.
    Whoops, ****, my edit of the post did not load so you are right it does not say convenience stores. sorry about that.

    ftr there are several new developments in south Edmonton where for a considerable period of time people have had to drive considerable distances just to get to a convenience store. I think in such areas as Jagare ridge this could still be a problem. But prior to massive commercial development on Ellerslie there was one convenience store near Summerside that was making a literal killing. The only place in miles kids could buy a slurpie or that was open outside of normal hours where people could buy anything. Its still a pretty hot location.

    So that on Jagare ridge you could hit a golf tee and pro shop from your backyard, But if you wanted so much as milk or eggs you had to drive miles to get it. With driving being literally impossible in that subdivision at rush hour. Just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

    Thank you as always for your informed replies.
    Last edited by Replacement; 15-08-2018 at 02:26 PM.
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    I have a friend who is a CA and CBV that would advise people that when their business is having financial difficulties that the first person they should delay payment to is the landlord. Ma and Pa indy businesses present a huge default risk to landlords.

    We live near a Save-on where there have been so many independent business locating in the strip mall that have fallen by the wayside. You get the feeling that these people think they just need to open the doors and the customers will come flying in. They won't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alkeli View Post
    Every time I see a new commercial building being built in town I get excited as to what it's going to be. A new housewares store? A new restaurant? A pharmacy? Something USEFUL?

    No. It's always a little 3-4 store building with a combination of these businesses : Nail salon (VO Nails), "Health food" (GNC), Vet, Optometrist, Dentist, crappy fast-food like Subway.
    You forgot to mention two other types of businesses...... tattoo parlours and Vape shops.

  15. #15

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    ^ Yes. It just seems that most of these new strips opening up over the last 5-10 years have the most useless businesses opening up. Or ones that very few people would actually need. And as I said before, their tiny parking lots are usually empty other than the workers so I don't know how they even stay in businesses or think it wise to open yet another one 10 blocks away...

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by alkeli View Post
    ^ Yes. It just seems that most of these new strips opening up over the last 5-10 years have the most useless businesses opening up. Or ones that very few people would actually need. And as I said before, their tiny parking lots are usually empty other than the workers so I don't know how they even stay in businesses or think it wise to open yet another one 10 blocks away...
    I look at is as a sign of what vapid, vacant things people, and I think particularly younger people, chose to spend their money on. We have an increase in businesses that just cater to those that throw discretionary money away. That are almost glad to do it. From the girl that worships cosmetics, fashion, hairstyles and figures its their everything in life to the human billboard whose lifelong goal is to cover every inch of their body in ink. At the risk of going too deep on it how many of these inane types of businesses reflect on an inane culture or socialization process where people increasingly build ego through something as superficial as altered looks and appearances. The suntan studios used to be so common on every one of these developments too until it was so undeniably clear about cancer risks.


    Where culture is at at any given moment seems to define what so much of these discretionary businesses end up looking like. Decades ago it was a suntan studio, video store, spa, . Now its tattoo shops, vape or head shops, spa, but the commonality being that seemingly young woman will always worship at the alter of cosmetic appearance and spend anything to manufacture a look. Its all kind of superficially depressing. AS much as society wants to feel progress its always the same. Appearance based goals and even acceptance apparently. What could be more superficial than paining and altering your body out of a catalog?

    Anyway, that's probably a theme for some other thread.
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  17. #17

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    Next. Area. In Millwoods we have decidedly less of this silly businesses. We have instead popular business and uber traffic business. In one always buzzing stripmall near where I live the parking lot is always overcrowded. It has a convenience store, pharmacy, doctors office, (very small dentist shop that I think closed) daycare, liquor store, (ha, almost next to each other) Physio. East Indian Grocery. Two east indian restos. Butcher/baker kinds of shop, KFC. Very standard and busy kind of stripmall in a no nonsense neighborhood composed of people that have decent control over their finances and that spend money very traditionally as the strip mall professes to. Indeed this strip mall is not at all unlike one I grew up in around Jasper Place. Serving essentials Same ethnic hard scrabble community, same huge amount of immigrants in an area making it, succeeding, working hard, having sensible values, and voila a strip mall that seems to make sense and is wildly successful and very busy.

    Anoother local strip mall has a daycare, Indian Grocery, Indian take out, Butcher, Convenience store, Gas pumps. Small pizza take out, small pub. No nonsense cheap hairstylist. Very bare bones, very commonsense business platforms based around actual needs.

    So I pose, if the neighborhood strip mall seems entirely vapid and vacant does this reflect the neighborhood it is contained in at all? One would think it does if theres any type of informed business plans going on in which the consumer aspects are known.
    Last edited by Replacement; 16-08-2018 at 10:17 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Next. Area. In Millwoods we have decidedly less of this silly businesses. We have instead popular business and uber traffic business. In one always buzzing stripmall near where I live the parking lot is always overcrowded. It has a convenience store, pharmacy, doctors office, (very small dentist shop that I think closed) daycare, liquor store, (ha, almost next to each other) Physio. East Indian Grocery. Two east indian restos. Butcher/baker kinds of shop, KFC. Very standard and busy kind of stripmall in a no nonsense neighborhood composed of people that have decent control over their finances and that spend money very traditionally as the strip mall professes to. Indeed this strip mall is not at all unlike one I grew up in around Jasper Place. Serving essentials Same ethnic hard scrabble community, same huge amount of immigrants in an area making it, succeeding, working hard, having sensible values, and voila a strip mall that seems to make sense and is wildly successful and very busy.

    Anoother local strip mall has a daycare, Indian Grocery, Indian take out, Butcher, Convenience store, Gas pumps. Small pizza take out, small pub. No nonsense cheap hairstylist. Very bare bones, very commonsense business platforms based around actual needs.

    So I pose, if the neighborhood strip mall seems entirely vapid and vacant does this reflect the neighborhood it is contained in at all? One would think it does if theres any type of informed business plans going on in which the consumer aspects are known.
    I know the mall you mean. That is a high density area and with high schools adjacent as well.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdmTrekker View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Next. Area. In Millwoods we have decidedly less of this silly businesses. We have instead popular business and uber traffic business. In one always buzzing stripmall near where I live the parking lot is always overcrowded. It has a convenience store, pharmacy, doctors office, (very small dentist shop that I think closed) daycare, liquor store, (ha, almost next to each other) Physio. East Indian Grocery. Two east indian restos. Butcher/baker kinds of shop, KFC. Very standard and busy kind of stripmall in a no nonsense neighborhood composed of people that have decent control over their finances and that spend money very traditionally as the strip mall professes to. Indeed this strip mall is not at all unlike one I grew up in around Jasper Place. Serving essentials Same ethnic hard scrabble community, same huge amount of immigrants in an area making it, succeeding, working hard, having sensible values, and voila a strip mall that seems to make sense and is wildly successful and very busy.

    Anoother local strip mall has a daycare, Indian Grocery, Indian take out, Butcher, Convenience store, Gas pumps. Small pizza take out, small pub. No nonsense cheap hairstylist. Very bare bones, very commonsense business platforms based around actual needs.

    So I pose, if the neighborhood strip mall seems entirely vapid and vacant does this reflect the neighborhood it is contained in at all? One would think it does if theres any type of informed business plans going on in which the consumer aspects are known.
    I know the mall you mean. That is a high density area and with high schools adjacent as well.
    heh, Is it the one you think? I think you are referring to Lakewood. But that the outlets are so similar, and that the consumer and resident makeup is so similar is reflected so similarly in the shops and services that it all fits tightly. These are strip malls that make sense contained in areas that are fiscally prudent. This, again, is what Jasper Place once was. Immigrant area with people trying to better lives and that lived sensibly within means. Millwoods is so much this. I love these types of areas and live in them always. I would never go back to JP as it turned a very bad corner. It became a vice oriented neighborhood. But it was once a sensible hard working neighborhood. The shops all along Stony Plain road reflect the very sad changes in the area. Its a blueprint signpost of what goes wrong in an area and as reflected by the makeup of its businesses and shops.
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